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pyqt-distutils 0.7.2

A set of distutils extension for building Qt ui files

A set of distutils extension to work with PyQt applications and UI files.

The goal of this tiny library is to help you write PyQt application in a pythonic way, using to build the Qt designer Ui files.

This works with PyQt4, PyQt5 and PySide (tested with python3 only).


Add the following lines to your

# import build_ui
    from pyqt_distutils.build_ui import build_ui
    cmdclass = {'build_ui': build_ui}
except ImportError:
    build_ui = None  # user won't have pyqt_distutils when deploying
    cmdclass = {}



To build the ui/qrc files, run:

python build_ui

To forcibly rebuilt every files, use the --force option:

python build_ui --force

If you want to require the user to have pyqt-distutils installed, and always have the build_ui command run as part of the build_py command (and all dependent commands), you can do so with a custom command class:

from setuptools import setup
from setuptools.command.build_py import build_py

from pyqt_distutils.build_ui import build_ui

class custom_build_py(build_py):
    def run(self):

        'build_ui': build_ui,
        'build_py': custom_build_py,

UI Files

The compilation of ui files is driven by a pyuic.json file, which is a plain json file with the following format:

    "files": [
    "pyrcc": "pyrcc5",
    "pyrcc_options": "",
    "pyuic": "pyuic5",
    "pyuic_options": "--from-imports"

Here is a brief description of the fields:

  • files: list of file pairs made up of the source ui file and the destination package
  • pyrcc: the name of the pyrcc tool to use (e.g: ‘pyrcc4’ or ‘pyside-rcc’)
  • pyrcc_options: pyrcc options (optional)
  • pyuic: the name of the pyuic tool to use (e.g: ‘pyrcc4’ or ‘pyside-rcc’)

Starting from version 3.0, you can use a glob expression instead of a file path. E.g., to compile all ui files under the forms directory in package/forms, you could write the following pyuic.json:

    "files": [
    "pyrcc": "pyrcc5",
    "pyrcc_options": "",
    "pyuic": "pyuic5",
    "pyuic_options": "--from-imports"


A pyqt-distutils hook is a python function that is called after the compilation of a ui/rc script to let you customise its content.

E.g. you might want to write a hook to change the translate function used or replace the PyQt imports by your owns if you’re using a shim,…

The hook function is a simple python function which must take a single argument: the path to the generated python script.

Hooks are exposed as setuptools entrypoint using pyqt_distutils_hooks as the entrypoint key. Add the following code to your to register your onw hooks:

        'pyqt_distutils_hooks': [
            'hook_name = package_name.module_name:function_name']

To actually use the hook, you must add a “hooks” key to your pyuic.json. This property lists the name of the hooks you’d like to run. E.g:

    "files": [
        ["forms/*.ui", "foo_gui/forms/"],
        ["resources/*.qrc", "foo_gui/forms/"]
    "pyrcc": "pyrcc5",
    "pyrcc_options": "",
    "pyuic": "pyuic5",
    "pyuic_options": "--from-imports",
    "hooks": ["gettext", "spam", "eggs"]

At the moment, we provide one builtin hook: gettext. This hook let you use a gettext.gettext wrapper instead of QCoreApplication.translate.

Command line tool

Starting from version 0.2, you can use the pyuicfg command line tool to manage your pyuic.json file:

# generate pyuic.json in the current directory, for use with PyQt4
pyuicfg -g

# generate pyuic.json in the current directory, for use with PyQt5
pyuicfg -g --pyqt5

# generate pyuic.json in the current directory, for use with PySide
pyuicfg -g --pyside

# add files
pyuicfg -a forms/main_window.ui foo_package/forms
pyuicfg -a resources/foo.qrc foo_package/forms

# remove file
pyuicfg -r resources/foo.qrc


The following packages are required:

  • docopt


You can either install from pypi:

(sudo) pip install pyqt-distutils

Or from source:

pip install .


This project is licensed under the MIT license.



Fix unhandled exception: TypeError when there is a CalledProcessError (see issue 7)


Improve subprocess command handling: write failing commands in yellow and their error message in red.


Add optional support for colorama.

If colorama can be imported, the build_ui output will be colored as follow:

  • pyuic/pyrcc commands in GREEN
  • skipped targets with the DEFAULT FORE COLOR
  • warning message in YELLOW
  • error messages in RED


  • gettext hook: don’t replace _ function. Now the hook works well for translating *.ui files with gettext or babel.


  • improbe gettext hook implementation to work with xgettext and babel


  • add support for running custom hooks


  • remove enum34 dependency and make the wheel truly universal


  • fix installation issue on python 3.5


  • allow the use of .json extension instead of .cfg (both are supported, .json become the default extension)


  • fix python 2 compatibility (#2)


  • remove useless and confusing print statement


  • add a --force flag
  • always force compilation *.qrc files


  • allow glob expression in files lists.


  • fix missing install requirements (docopt and enum34).


  • add pyuicfg command line tool to administrate your pyuic.cfg file.


  • Improve readme


  • Fix description and examples when pyqt-distutils has not been installed.


  • Initial release
File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size
pyqt-distutils-0.7.2.tar.gz (md5) Source 2016-06-20 6KB
pyqt_distutils-0.7.2-py2.py3-none-any.whl (md5) Python Wheel py2.py3 2016-06-20 7KB